March 12, 2020, Alexandria, Va., USA — The Journal of Dental Research, co-owned by the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) and the American Association of Dental Research (AADR), has published a paper written by researchers at Wuhan University School & Hospital of Stomatology with a number of recommendations for dental practitioners and dental students in light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that was first reported in Wuhan, China. The virus that causes COVID-19 has been identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2).
“For dental practices and hospitals in countries / regions that are (potentially) affected with COVID-19, strict and effective infection control protocols are urgently needed,” Prof. Zhuan BIAN and coauthors stated. “Dentists should take strict personal protection measures and avoid or minimize operations that can produce droplets or aerosols. Four-handed technique is beneficial for controlling infection. The use of saliva ejectors with low volume or high volume can reduce the production of droplets and aerosols.”
Additional recommendations for clinical practice are provided:
- During the outbreak of COVID-19, dental clinics are recommended to establish pre-check triages to measure and record the temperature of every staff and patient as a routine procedure.
- Preoperative antimicrobial mouth rinse could reduce the number of microbes in the oral cavity.
- Dental emergencies can occur and exacerbate in a short period of time, and therefore need immediate treatment. Rubber dams and high-volume saliva ejectors can help minimize aerosol or spatter in dental procedures. The treatment planning of tooth fracture, luxation, or avulsion is dependent on the age, the traumatic severity of dental tissue, the development of the apex, and the duration of tooth avulsion.
- In the regions that are heavily affected with COVID-19, patients waiting in dental clinic should also be provided with medical masks. If aerosol producing procedures are unavoidable, dental practitioners need to wear gowns, facial shield or goggles.
The paper also listed recommendations for dental education:
- During the outbreak period, online lectures, case studies and problem-based learning (PBL) tutorials should be adopted to avoid unnecessary aggregation of people and associated risk of infection.
- Schools should encourage students to engage in self-learning, make full use of online resources and learn about the latest academic developments.
- During this period, it is easy for students to be affected by disease associated fear and pressure, dental schools should be prepared to provide psychological services to those who need them.
The authors called for further discussion and research on how to improve current infection control strategies and how to respond to similar contagious diseases in the future.
View the complete paper here.
About the Journal of Dental Research
The IADR/AADR Journal of Dental Research (JDR) is a multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the dissemination of new knowledge in all sciences relevant to dentistry and the oral cavity and associated structures in health and disease. The JDR continues to rank #1 of 90 journals in Eigenfactor with a score of 0.021290, ranks #2 in 2-year Impact Factor of 90 journals in the “Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine” category at 5.125 and ranks #2 of 90 in Article Influence with a score of 1.643. The JDR’s 5-year Impact Factor has remained above 5 for the fourth year at 5.722, ranking #2 of 91 journals. With over 20,000 citations, the JDR also boasts the most citations in the “Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine” category — 4,500 citations above the second ranked journal in the field.
About the International Association for Dental Research
The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with over 10,000 individual members worldwide, with a Mission to drive dental, oral and craniofacial research to advance health and well-being worldwide. To learn more, visit www.iadr.org. The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) is the largest Division of IADR with 3,100 members in the United States. To learn more, visit www.iadr.org/aadr.